avid reader and writer of speculative fiction...
Absolutely. I read this book in print when I was far too young to appreciate it fully, and I am so glad to have revisited it here. Despite its brevity, this story has layers upon layers of detail and hints and clues and themes. Every time you take this journey with Offred, you'll find new pieces that resonate with you, with our current political climate, and with the past.
This novel is such a strong piece of work, it almost defies comparison. If you are familiar with Atwood's other works, you'll find some of her writing style familiar, but plot-wise, it is worlds away from Oryx and Crake or MaddAdam, for instance.
The plot of this story grabs you by the throat within the first few pages and runs along full steam ahead from that point, so I think this book is accessible to a much broader audience than the rest of Atwood's works.
It weaves together elements from such works as Brave New World, Never Let Me Go, or The Left Hand of Darkness, yet it is still utterly original and singular. I personally love sci-fi and dystopian settings, but even if you don't, this book merits a read (or listen)
Normally, I am not a fan of Claire Danes- I actually find her voice grating in a lot of her acting work.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by this performance. On my first read of this novel, I had trouble picturing the protagonist in my head. At first, I imagined her as young as I was (13, at the time) and eventually came to picture her as the photo of Margaret Atwood on the book jacket (much older).
Claire Danes does an amazing job of somehow forcing you to imagine Offred is YOU. And that, I think, was Atwood's aim in writing this: to make sure the reader identifies with the protagonist to the extent that her world, the Republic of Gilead, seems almost like it could be your home, your neighborhood, your community, 10-15 years from now.
"Better never means better for everyone... It always means worse, for some."
(Just thinking about this part of the book gives me chills!)
Without giving away too much, I have to say: this book starts out in a grim place, but there are moments of levity throughout that will keep you from wanting to just give up. If you hold on long enough, and pay close attention, there is a thread of hope at the end that keeps this story from just being a downer.
subversive, entertaining, thought-provoking
I would compare this to The Giver by Lois Lowry because they are both similarly about controlling populations of people and totalitarian governments' failure to subdue the human spirit
I think Claire Danes' reading of the story is excellent; her voices with the characters help to flesh out the emotion behind the words. She does pause effectively and help the listener to follow the narrative more closely than an actor who would rush it.
The computer streaming could have been better. There were several times I had to restart my session due to frequent stops and fuzzy audio. My computer is hardwired on our business network with great performance otherwise, so I don't know why the audio didn't load as well that one day when it acted up.
It reminded me of my youth when I had a passion for dystopian books that were chillingly scary and believable in that far fetched way.
The epilogue. The cold analysis of how the story was likely preserved and all the uncertainty surrounding it was the saddest ending I could imagine.
I was put off by her monotone in the first few chapters but soon came to understand and appreciate her performance
I listened to it over a long weekend in more or less one sitting.
The plot played out very slowly from the beginning of the tale, teasing you along, and allowing you to believe it really could happen.
Avid audiobook listener and reader. I work in the tech industry, but like to go outside my comfort zone with fiction and non-fiction.
Love the story that is somewhat cautionary and yet hard to imagine ever happening. It is imaginative and more creative than most dystopian future stories.
Claire Danes = excellent narration! The story is fascinating and even though it jumps through time it is not too hard to follow! Definitely enjoyed greatly and highly recommend.
Usually, when I enjoy a book as much as I have this one, I hope it will be made into a movie. However, this one is an exception, for I cannot imagine a movie being able to capture the haunting and thought provoking aura of Claire Danes rendition of this recounting of events. Sobering, but very humane in its relating of human reaction to adverse circumstances. The government takeover and racial prejudices mentioned as preludes to the events related are believable in a very real, and thus disturbing way. Let us hope society does not turn into this.
I enjoyed this story. Another bleak story of mankind 's potential future, with realistic situations based on observations of this animal.
How the characters that were invisible in society were so vibrate in the story
Some parts of the story makes me feel like I'm missing big chunks of the story, and I swear I didn't fall asleep during it!